Gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen have reportedly killed 60 people in a reprisal attack carried out in two Northern states.
A witness who spoke on condition of anonymity told Vanguard on Monday, that over 50 people were killed in Gidandawa District of Maradun Local Government Area of Zamfara state while 10 others were killed in Pilgani District of Langtang North Local Government of Plateau State.
The source said several others sustained various degrees of injuries during the attack that was carried out at about 5: a.m. He said the assailants stormed the area when residents were preparing to commence the day’s Ramadan fasting.
According to him, the bloodthirsty gunmen shot anybody on sight, adding that about 40 persons who died on the spot have been laid to rest in a mass burial in accordance with Islamic laws. He further revealed that more bodies were later recovered from the surrounding bushes.
Another witnesses who gave his name as Isa, said: “We heard heavy gun shots that were loud enough to wake everybody from sleep early this morning (yesterday). The gun shots were also coming from the direction of Maradun, which is not too far from here. However, later, we started bringing in corpses of men, women and children who were allegedly killed by the invaders. This was early in the morning.”
When contacted, DSP Lawal Abdullahi, the state Police Command spokesperson confirmed the attack, but claimed that only seven persons were killed contrary to the figures earlier given.
“Actually it happened, but not like you said about the casualities. However, it is not good for anybody or groups to take the laws into their hands” Abdullahi said.
He said the tragedy is suspected to be a reprisal attack because some Fulani herdsmen reportedly had issues with some of the villagers.
Similarly, the cause of the Plateau attack could not be ascertained as at press time, but a resident who didn’t want his name in print said, the attacks which were carried out at about 2: a.m, in Zama Dede and Ganlang villages left ten persons dead.
Responding, Beni Lar, a member representing Langtang North/Langtang South Constituency in the House of Representatives condemned the incident, and expressed worries over the incessant killings in the area.
Speaking with journalist in Jos, the state capital, Lar disclosed that the recent attack had altered the peaceful co-existence among the people.
Lar, who said the picketed communities were peace loving, filled with hardworking people, questioned why such vulnerable villagers would be gruesomely killed in that manner.
While lamenting the incident, she hinted that the Federal Government at the ongoing national conference is trying to proffer lasting solution to farmers/herdsmen clashes. She urged residents to remain law-abiding; assuring them of government effort to create grazing grounds in order to avert future occurrence.
When contacted, DSP Abu Emmanuel, the state police command spokesman declined comments on the incident, saying; he was yet to be briefed by Langtang Divisional Police Officer.